23 December 2007

No Matter Where I Am, This Is Christmas To Me

As Christmas approaches, this video will always remind me of my childhood holidays. This was before videos or DVDs, you actually looked forward to and waited for specials on television like this. I actually really miss that aspect of life, the anticipation of things. Seeing this puts a little Christmas spirit in me and I hope it does in you too. Wherever you are and whoever you are with, Happy Holidays!!

21 December 2007

Reason # 7 Why Ambien and Liquor Do Not Mix

Please learn something from the cautionary tale about the man travelling on a buddy pass in economy. Mr.X washed down his Ambien with a few glasses of red wine. After flirting shamelessly with his female seatmate, the wine kicked in and he excused himself to the toilet. Somehow the Ambien took over and he flushed his trousers down the toilet. Truly. He entered the toilet with them on, when he left they were no where to be seen, nor in the wastebasket. What was seen was the thong he was wearing as he waddled back to his seat. When Mr.X woke up he had no memory of the prior events. He left the aircraft wrapped in a blanket fashioned into a sarong in a wheelchair.

Please do not be Mr.X. Friends do not let friends mix liquor and Ambien in an aircraft. Julie C. do not ever give Mr.X a buddy pass again.

20 December 2007

Must Have Items For Long Haul travel

After over a decade of flying, I think I have finally started to perfect what to bring onboard for work or holiday travel on long haul flights. This research has been very hit or miss, with alot of money spent on useless items . The following items are those that are in my carry on luggage as a crew member or a passenger on long flights.

  • A travel pillow. Not just any pillow, I have found for me the ones filled with buckwheat are too noisy and the inflatable ones, well, deflate. I went to a travel show several years ago in London and came across a booth selling JetRest pillows. They aren't cheap, Boots chemist makes a knock off but their style is the best I have come across. It is a little wedge that fits next to wither side of your head to give you the nap quality of leaning against the window, even if you are in a middle seat. I have run through over a dozen travel pillows and this is the BEST.

  • A ziploc bag filled with tea bags and hot chocolate packets. If you prefer sweetener to sugar, throw these in as well. Not all carriers provide anything but caffeinated tea,but all can provide you with hot water to make the drink of your choice. These are also handy in a hotel room/hostel to make you feel homey.

  • A pashmina. Yes, I realize that fashion wise they are so 5 years ago but they are invaluable for travel. If you are cold they are your blanket. Pillows and seats of dubious cleanliness are covered with it as well. When off the plane, they serve as an extra blanket, a tablecloth for a picnic or a makeshift pillow on a bus or train.

  • Hot water bottle. I am ALWAYS cold on the plane, when working or as a passenger. I carry a tiny hot water bottle and fill it to keep warm. And crew will be happy to oblige a request like this. They pack away to nothing and can also be used to warm a chilly bed with hot water from the tap. If you forgot a hot water bottle, you can create a makeshift one by using an empty water bottle. If you do not have one, ask the crew if they have an empty water bottle that they can fill with hot water. Wrap it with your pashmina (I told you it was handy!) or an airline sock so as not to have hot water against your skin.

  • A crappy paperback. I never travel with reading material that I intend to bring home . When you are finished with that junky novel, leave it for the cabin crew on the plane(in the magazine rack) or in your hotel/hostel for the staff or another guest. Be cheaper still by buying them at a salvation army or Goodwill/oxfam store, books are CHEAP there.

  • Postcard addresses on address labels or a piece of paper. I feel it is too risky with my forget fullness to actually pack my address book, that stays home. I write out labels for all the postcards I intend to write,when they are posted, you have nothing filling your bag,nothing to loose.

  • Earplugs!!! A necessity in economy class or in a noisy hotel (yes you noisy 'Swedish ' hostel in Jerusalem, I am referring to you!)
  • Lavender oil. Covers the funk of the cabin or a stale hotel room and also helps you to sleep.
  • Saline gel for your nose. I use the brand Ayr, but any are fine. They keep your nose moist in the cabin which has a humidity level of a desert ( seriously). Also great in dry climates and high altitudes like Colorado.

If anyone else has other suggestions, please post them, I am always on the hunt for new ideas!!

18 December 2007

Overheard in Business Class

She: My feet are sore, can you give me a foot massage??
He: NO!!!

This was asked of a crew member midflight. No, I do not work for the airline with the onboard beauty therapist, but even they do over clothing only neck and shoulder massages!! Some things asked of us by passengers make me wonder where the Candid Camera is hiding.....I do not even like to rub my own feet, much less someone elses, what the heck was this lady thinking??? I am glad she asked my lovely Dutch coworker this question, I would not have been able to keep a straight face in my reply!!!

There are many odd things I have done for passengers while flying including but not limited to:

Changing refugee babies diapers upon descent as the parents had never seen disposible diapers.

Cleaning up copious amounts of vomit. Rarely do the passengers thank you for this task.

Helping an incontinent woman in the lav get her clothes back on.

Giving a passenger some of my clothes as they had been vomited upon.

So you can see I am not bothered by much but no, NONE of us will rub your feet lady. It bacame a running joke with the other passengers, they all started asking for back rubs and hand massages. it is interesting that when you have a real pain in the ass passenger, the others seem to compensate for he/she. That lady was a real princess and the massage request was only the tip of the iceberg.

*A thank you to the lady in 8E who gave me the handful of gossippy magazines!! Much appreciated!!

15 December 2007

the Lavdance, Will It Catch On Like the Safety Dance??

Delta Airlines has recently released a series of videos called 'palneguage'. They highlight dubious behaviour onboard planes by passengers. The lavdance one reminds me of a few universal rules that passengers should follow to makt the public bathroom a kinder experience for everyone.

Men, the toilets are not urinals, they require flushing.

The public toilets are not a place to bring in magazines. I do not care if you have installed a bookshelf in your home bathroom, this is not a place to linger. Others are waiting...

Ladies, If you need to do major beauty overhauls, please use the time before everyone else wakes up or go while the carts are in the aisle. Right before landing with 20 passengers tapping their foot outside the door is not the time to reapply makeup.

Parents, If you change a childs diaper, do not hand it to me in the galley. You do not disponse of your little angels diapers at home in your kitchen, this is the same. Put them in a sick bag, seal it and place in the lav garbage.

The utility drawer( the place where you find sick bags and sanitary pads) is not a trash. Please do not wad up toilet paper and place it there.

Latsly, please drain the sink when you are done. No one wants to encounter a sinkfull of cloudy toothpaste water.

A little consideration of others goes a long way on the plane.Thanks!!

09 December 2007

Bruised, Battered and Bewildered

Sorry for the lack of updates!! I have been snowboarding in Copper Mountain, Colorado at one of the airlines ski weeks. This ski week is a little less party ( only a little) and a lot of learning. No matter the level, you get a week of coaching to improve your form.

As a new boarder my form needs mucho work!! I have taken to the sport enough to agree to put away my skis for 2 years to get a handle on all things boarding. Shhhh, I have joined the darkside. My neck , butt and abs are in serious pain after a week of coaching. One chair lift 'dismount' was so catastrophic that the workers merely stared in wonder rather than turn off the lift . Warren Miller could have used it as an outtake in his videos.

My friends , unlike me, have digital cameras so the beauty of the slopes will be here shortly!! I am off to ice my various parts, back soon.....